French movies have their own feel and, according to French natives, express a true “‘joie de vivre” and convey a unique style of their own. Generally, most French movies are known for a lack of action and abundance of intellectual meaning. The country is known for the world famous Cannes Film Festival and those with a sophisticated eye are said to be able to truly appreciate French film. That said, here is a ranking of what are considered to be the ten best French movies of all time.
1). La Haine (1995)
Mathieu Kassovitz won the award for best actor at The Cannes Film Festival in 1995 after directing this masterpiece starring Vancent Cassel as Vinz. Set in a French suburban ghetto, Vinz has vowed to kill a cop of his friend Abdel dies at the hospital as a result of a severe beating received while in police custody.
2). A Heart in Winter (1992)
A Heart in Winter, directed by Claude Sautet, is a heartwarming story of a violin maker named Stephane (Daniel Auteuil) who is an expert at fixing damaged violins who works with a friend named Maxime (Andre Dussollier) who falls for a young violinist named Camille (Emmanuelle Beart) as the story develops Stephane becomes attracted to Camille too and a love triangle evolves setting the plot for the movie.
3).Le fabuleux destin d’AmÃ©lie Poulain (2001)
Beautiful Audrey Tautou as the unusual and peculiar resident of the north Parisian district known as Montmartre, who one day finds a hidden box with childhood artifacts and decides to find its owner. When seeing the joy the box and its content brings the now grown up man, AmeliÃ© sets off to pursuit her new calling of spreading happiness to the many sad people of Paris.
4). Belle de Jour (1967)
Belle de Jour, directed by Luis Bunuel, focuses on a woman who is no longer sexually attracted to her doctor husband and ends up turning her sexual fantasies into reality leading to results she does not anticipate.
5). Betty Blue (1986)
Betty Blue, directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix, is about a woman who discovers a manuscript written by handyman working for her and goes about trying to get it published, which proves to be a more daunting task than expected.
6). La Cage Aux Folles (Birds of a Feather) (1978)
La Cage Aux Folles (Birds of a Feather), directed by Edouard Molinaro, is a solid take on the story of two gay men who live together in the South of France and run a nightclub and have to pretend to be straight as a result of the wedding of one of their sons.
7). Bitter Moon (1992)
Bitter Moon, directed by Roman Polanski, is set on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean and focuses on a love that uncovers deeper issues as it becomes more intense.
Breathless, directed by Jean-Luc Godard, is considered a premiere film in the French new wave movement centered around a young petty thief and the aspiring American journalist he falls in love with, but she ultimately betrays him in this film known for its innovative editing.
9). Children of Paradise (1945)
Children of Paradise, directed by Marcel Carne, is set in the world of the Parisian theatre of the early 1800s. It is the story of a young woman and the four men who love her in different ways. Some critics have named the film, made during the Nazi occupation of France, the “best French film ever.”
10). Cyrano de Bergerac (1990)
Cyrano de Bergerac, directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau, is based on the 1897 play about a Parisian poet with a prominent nose who does not feel he can win the woman he loves as himself.